Bacterial endocarditis is an infection of the lining of the heart, most often the heart valves, or in the major blood vessels.
Endocarditis can occur in a person at any age who has a congenital heart problem. It can also occur in people without heart disease.
While endocarditis is not common, it can cause serious heart damage. The infection can eat holes in the important valves of the heart. In most cases, bacterial endocarditis can be treated with antibiotics. The antibiotics are given intravenously for six weeks.
According to the guidelines set in 2007 by the American Heart Association (AHA), taking antibiotics prior to dental procedures is no longer routinely necessary. There are some exceptions and your cardiologist will inform you if you or your child requires antibiotic prophylaxis.